Creme Caramel Baked in Pumpkin Shells


Cooking is like gardening in that it is a grand experiment. This is my first attempt at creating a dessert baked in pumpkin shells. The theory here is that the shells will buffer the cooking of the custard and will replace the traditional water bath for such dishes as creme brulee or creme caramel. This is fabulous warm from the oven or cold from the refrigerator as a decadent breakfast. (Of course, after eating all the cream, butter and sugar in this dessert you can make use of the leftover egg whites and make a high protein omelet for breakfast the next day -kind of balance out the splurging to assuage your conscience).

3 c. heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 c. milk
1-1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/4 c. sliced fresh ginger
dash of salt

1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pour the cream, milk and a dash of salt into a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the milk is scalded. Add the slices of ginger and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the pumpkins by slicing the tops off and cleaning out the stringy seeds. Clean well.
Bake the pumpkin shells on a cookie sheet in the oven until you are ready with the other ingredients.

Prepare the caramel by placing the brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and enough water in a saucepan to help dissolve the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil and let boil for a few minutes.

Pour the caramel into the bottom of the three pumpkins.

Pour the cream mixture through a sieve to strain out the ginger. Reheat the mixture until bubbles appear at the sides of the saucepan.

Whisk the eggs and egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. With the mixer running pour the hot cream mixture into the eggs and sugar. Continue until smooth.

Pour into the pumpkin “ramekins”. Place the pumpkin tops to the sides of the pumpkin shells and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, just until the custard is set.

Serve warm or cooled. Quite delicious. I promise it will be eaten. A few days after making this, I went to the refrigerator only to find my dear husband had eaten it all!

2 Responses to “Creme Caramel Baked in Pumpkin Shells”
  1. Melissa says:

    what a wonderful picture to see when I checked your blog. looks like a great recipe. I look forward to trying it. I liked your memory of the haunted furnace room in pumpkins on the brain.

  2. Kim says:

    Oh wow… that sounds delicious! I found your blog via Chuck b., who blogs at My Back 40 (Feet) and who saw you at the CA symposium.
    I have looked through your book in our local Borders, by the way, and it’s excellent. (I’m on a self-imposed book diet right now, so I don’t own it–yet–but I plan to at some point.)